May 28, 2023

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Zelensky accuses Russia of intentionally blocking Ukraine’s grain

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia on Friday of “deliberately” delaying the passage of ships loaded with Ukrainian grain, a vital supply for many countries in Africa and Asia, reports AFP.

“More than 150 ships are waiting to fulfill contractual obligations to supply our agricultural products. This is an artificial queue, which appeared only because Russia is deliberately delaying the passage of ships,” Zelensky said in a video message.

According to the Ukrainian president, China, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon or the Maghreb countries are among the states affected by these delays which affect “approximately three million tons of food”.

Russia and Ukraine agreed in July to resume Ukrainian grain exports, stopped since the beginning of the war, after an agreement mediated by the UN and Turkey.

Russia later criticized the deal, saying its own exports were hampered by the sanctions.

Difficult period for Ukraine which frequently remains without electricity

At the same time, problems continue for the Ukrainians who remained in the country.

Ukraine’s electricity grid operator, Ukrenergo, announced on Friday that it would impose “controlled and temporary” restrictions and shutdowns of electricity supply in the main regions of the country, including Kyiv, following Russia’s continued bombing of Ukrainian energy infrastructures, reports the EFE agency.

“Due to the sharp increase in electricity consumption, Ukrenergo’s management is forced to introduce temporary controlled restrictions on electricity consumption in the regions of Kyiv and its capital (Kyiv), Chernigov, Cherkassy, ​​Zhitomir”, states the quoted company.

“This will help reduce the load on the electrical grid and give installation workers time to repair equipment damaged by terrorist attacks,” Ukrenergo explains, referring to Russian missile and drone bombings of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The Ukrainian operator had already asked citizens the other day to take measures to save electricity throughout the country, especially during peak hours.

Russia is sending recently mobilized troops to defend Kherson

About 2,000 Russian soldiers mobilized in recent weeks by Moscow have arrived in the occupied territory of Kherson region in southern Ukraine to replace lost personnel and reinforce frontline units, according to a report published on Friday by the General Staff of the Ukrainian army on the page from Facebook, quoted by EFE.

The occupation authorities have issued an order to prepare the evacuation of the so-called ‘banking institutions’ brought by the Russians, they are drawing up transfer lists for the medical workers and teachers who were brought by Russia to the occupied area of ​​Kherson, the Ukrainian General Staff indicates.

Likewise, objectives from the humanitarian sphere have ceased their activity in Kherson.

“The enemy tries to maintain the temporarily captured territories, it concentrates its efforts here, restricting the actions of its armed forces in certain directions,” the report states.

Donetsk, along with Luhansk, in the east, and Zaporozhye and Kherson, in the south – all annexed by Russia – are the points where fighting between Ukrainians and Russians has been concentrated in recent weeks and where, according to Kiev, Ukrainian forces have recaptured important portions of territory.

The Ukrainian General Staff emphasizes that the Russians do not stop trying to carry out offensive actions on the front line in these regions, in the east and south of Ukraine, in cities such as Bahmut and Avdiivka.

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